'Leaked' photos show iPhone 4G

Pictures have appeared online purporting to show the next Apple iPhone, complete with aluminium back

Grainy pictures supposedly showing the next-generation iPhone have appeared online. The images show a sleek-looking iPhone with an aluminium back that is more reminiscent of the first-generation iPhone and new iPad computer than the glossy-backed iPhone 3G and 3GS handsets.

Apple has refused to confirm whether the device in the images is a prototype of its new device. Gadget fans are well known for creating "mock ups" of supposed Apple devices, and then seeding them around the internet.

There are rumours that the new iPhone will be unveiled in June, and will feature an eight megapixel camera with flash, more storage and a front-mounted camera. The iPhone 4.0 software update, which was revealed by Apple last week, will also add multi-touch capabilities to the device.

A return to the aluminium form factor would make sense for Apple. It's very first iPhone, launched in July 2007, had an aluminium back, as does its latest gadget, the iPad, which went on sale in the United States earlier this month. Shoppers in the UK will have to wait until late May to get their hands on the touch-screen, tablet style computer, after Apple pushed back the launch date, citing "overwhelming" demand.

In February, rival phone maker HTC unveiled a handset made from a single piece of aluminium, using a manufacturing technique similar to the one used by Apple to make its unibody Macs. The HTC Legend has been widely praised for its cutting edge design and ease of use, and for the software laid over the Google Android operating system that makes it easier for people to communicate across social-networking sites.


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